When we bought our new flat I splashed out on a smart looking kettle, stainless steel to go with the stainless steel cooker, hob and cooker hood in my new kitchen to replace my old tired looking and rather slow boiling white plastic one, which I had since I was a student.
The Russell Hobbs 14924 Kettle
I think it's quite an aesthetically pleasing kettle, with nice shiny stainless steel moulded in a rounded shape, the design "flows" there are no parts of it that look stuck on - I think it's a well thought out piece of kit. I also love the illuminating blue part, under the handle, which is also the water measure. When the kettle is on the blue part lights up a lovely bright blue colour and when the water boils you can see the bubbles in the blue section.
The handle of the kettle is a quality matt, black plastic and a good shape to hold. The opening lever on the lid of the kettle, which you pull up to release the lid is also in the same plastic, as is the base of the kettle. The kettle is cordless, it is the base which is plugged into the mains which I find really handy when I'm cooking, as it's easy to lift the kettle away.
The spout pours easily, and on the inside of the spout is a removable filter which slides in and out.
Using the Kettle
It holds a max of 1.2 litres but otherwise the measurements are shown in cups, so min of one cup, max of five cups. I'm the only one in our household who drinks tea/coffee so usually I boil 1 or 2 cup's worth just for me, which takes about 2 and 1/2 mins. Obviously the more you put in the longer it takes. I always use filtered water for drinks, however I only use tap water when boiling vegetables etc. which has caused a little limescale, but nothing compared with if I didn't use filtered water at all.
I wipe clean the outside of the kettle with a damp cloth and a bit of washing up liquid if necessary. Because I do use unfiltered water for cooking there is some limescale build up, and I find that buying a cheap vinegar, for about 17p from the supermarket is the best way of getting it off. I use the whole jar, leave it for about 30mins and then boil the kettle with it in. After emptying it out I boil a full kettle of water so no vinegar traces are left, I prefer using this to descalers as they are really chemically based.
According to the instructions the base has a safety devise and it cuts out if water gets in it whilst the kettle is on - I have not put this to the test! It's a very sturdy kettle, the weight is at the bottom so there is no chance of knocking it over, and of course I always keep it at the back of the kitchen worktop so there is no way the kids could pull it off.
Lovely kettle, well worth the £22 I spent on it, and still looks new three years later.
==Price and Availability==
When we moved into our now flat me and my partner had all the essentials we needed as she's been living in a small flat for a few months whilst we found somewhere big enough for both of us. We've gradually started buying our own things though as a few the things we were given were not to our taste. We decided to start with the kitchen as we both spend a lot of time in there, one of the first things we bought was a toaster and as with most items of this kind I decided to have a look what Argos had on the website. I picked out the Russell Hobbs 14924 as it looked good and was just what we wanted. The kettle cost £29.99 which is a bit more expensive than some but for a name like Russell Hobbs I don't mind paying a bit extra and I had some vouchers off a survey site as well so it didn't work out very expensive at all.
* 1.2 kW.
* Capacity 1.2 litres.
* Concealed element.
* Boil dry protection - automatically switches off when the kettle is empty.
* Removable, washable limescale filter.
Taking the kettle out of the box it was smaller than I expected, it is described as a compact and said it's perfect for a small house or flat and needing the worktop space it is just right for us. The kettle looks very sleek and modern. The main body of the jug kettle is stainless steel whilst the base and handle are black plastic but thick enough not to look cheap. Underneath the handle is water window, it illuminates blue when the kettle is on and switches off when it's boiled. The water inside the kettle is measured in cups which is handy as it gives you a better idea of how much you will need as appose to it being measured in millilitres. Overall, the kettle looks very nice and a bit more modern than most, so far it's definitely worth £30.
==Using The Kettle==
The kettle is very light weight and the handle sits nicely in the hand making it very easy to fill up, it is cordless which saves a lot of messing about unplugging the jug to fill it up at the sink. A slight problem I've found is that the switch it flicked up to boil and down to turn off, I've never had a kettle like this before and it does take a bit of getting used to. The kettle boils quite quickly, it's handy that the water is measured in cups because it gives you a better idea of how much to use and lets you get the quickest boil possible as well as saving electricity. Even when full the kettle is easy to lift as the handle is so sturdy and it doesn't feel heavy at all. The kettle pours well with the liquid not pouring too fast causing spillages, the limescale filter does its job well and I haven't found any bits in my drinks.
I think this kettle is great for people who mainly just use the kettle for one or two people as it saves them boiling a full sized kettle of water each time but it could hold water for five people. Although the kettle is compact, and definitely looks smaller than an average kettle the aesthetics haven't been compromised and the kettle would fit into most kitchens. The kettle is easy to fill and pour and it very lightweight, it would be perfect for anybody with trouble with arthritis in their hands of wrists. It is slightly more expensive than some kettles but for the design I think it's worth it, I've been really pleased with this buy.
A year or so ago, disaster struck in the Indycat household when our trusted Philips kettle decided to give up the ghost. Faced with the inconvenient alternative of boiling water in a saucepan to make cups of tea and coffee, I did what most sensible women would do and kindly suggested to my husband that he should pay a visit to Argos as soon as possible if he expected his cups of coffee to be replenished with the frequency to which he had grown accustomed.
So off he went and very soon returned with a brand new, shiny Russell Hobbs Compact Kettle. Now my husband and I are quite different in the ways in which we shop- I'm more of a bargain hunter and willing to give any old brand a try if it saves a few pennies. Hubby on the other hand generally prefers to pay extra for well-known, established brands as he assumes they will be of a higher quality and so I wasn't at all surprised at his choice.
The kettle was packaged in a fairly sturdy cardboard box, which we discovered was deceptively large as once we'd removed the kettle from the packaging, we were both quite surprised at how small it looked. I know this seems somewhat stupid to say in view of this quite clearly being a 'compact' kettle, however I sometimes find that products labelling themselves as 'compact' are more often than not just a tad smaller than the full sized versions. In this instance, the size was much more noticeably smaller than a standard kettle, to the point where I found it looked a little odd on the kitchen worktop. My husband confessed at this point that he hadn't intended to buy a compact version and had just gone for the most reasonably priced kettle from a decent brand, without reading the product description properly. Nevertheless, we decided that the volume of 1.2 litres (roughly 5 cups worth) would be perfectly adequate for our needs and so we decided we may as well hang on to it.
Regardless of its size, I personally find this quite attractive as far as kettles go. It's in a jug style and the kettle itself is cordless, with a separate base. I much prefer this type of kettle as you don't have to bother with removing the cord when you go to fill it up and you avoid any worry about water getting into sockets. The circular base is made of black plastic about 2cm thick, with a raised metallic area in the centre which slots into a hole in the base of the kettle. The main body of the kettle is gherkin shaped and is finished in polished stainless steel, with the Russell Hobbs logo in black at the bottom. One one side, there is a water window which clearly shows you how much water is in the kettle whilst it's in use, with measurement markers in little white cups on the side. I love the fact that the water is measured in terms of cups, as I have no idea how many millilitres I would need to make a certain number of cups of tea and this method ensures you boil pretty much the right amount of water, which is not only convenient but also helps to save energy. A strong, sturdy curved handle in black plastic runs from just above to below the water window and underneath this sits a black, plastic flip switch used to turn the kettle on and off.
On the opposite side at the top is a small, curved spout, which sits over a hole through which the water is poured. Unlike some kettles, the spout has been attached separately during the manufacturing process rather than having been moulded as part of the main body of the kettle and lies a few centimetres below the top edge. The hole in the side of the kettle is covered in a fine mesh filter (which incidentally is both removable and washable) to ensure that any lime scale doesn't end up in your drinks. Finally, there is a curved lid on the top, with a little black, plastic notch handle in the middle.
This is an incredibly easy kettle to use, mainly because the lower volume and its lightweight nature makes it far easier to lift than other larger kettles, even when full. For this reason, I would highly recommend it for anyone who finds lifting a struggle. The lid is opened by slipping a finger under the notch handle and pulling upwards- it is attached by a small hinge on one side so no faffing about with removing the lid completely and I have never found it to be stiff or hard to open. The kettle has a smooth, stainless steel interior with a concealed element making cleaning simple and easy. Although I have a habit of filling the kettle via the spout, it's far more advisable to fill up through the top as we now have a bit of lime scale on the wrong side of the spout filter. Once filled, the kettle slots back onto the base and you just flip the switch upwards to turn it on. A nice feature of this kettle is that the water window glows blue whilst it's on, which is helpful if like me you are prone to filling the kettle and then forgetting to flip the switch. Once the kettle has finished boiling, the switch flips back into the 'off' position and voilà, it's tea time!
The kettle seems to boil fairly quickly, although this could just be down to the fact that it houses less water. I have however found that it has several advantages over some other models I've used- there's never a drop of water leaked from the spout whilst pouring, whereas my Mum's kettle is terrible for this and there is always a pool of water on the worktop after making drinks. Secondly, as it is so compact you could quite feasibly use this as a travel kettle if need be and it takes up far less room on our kitchen worktop than our old kettle, which is very useful if you have a small kitchen or lots of other appliances.
The smaller volume comes in handy for the most part as you do find you end up boiling less water and thus saving energy- especially if you have people in your household who tend to boil a whole kettle's worth regardless of the amount of water required. However, it does have its downsides if you find yourself entertaining several guests as you may end up needing to boil the kettle twice to make enough drinks. I have also found that the cup measurements can be a little on the small side so you need to overestimate slightly if you're making drinks in larger mugs. Another minor drawback is that being stainless steel, the exterior does tend to show water marks and it's quite hard to get it looking as glossy as it was when new. There is also a tendency for lime scale to build up around the outside of the lid and base of the kettle (even though ours is a soft water area) so it does need regular de-scaling to keep it looking in good condition.
This kettle can be bought through the Russell Hobbs website for £25.00 plus free delivery, or through Argos for £27.49. Although there are cheaper alternatives, I do think this is a reasonable price as it's been 100% reliable over the past year and appears to be well made and durable, as well as being so easy to use and saving a bit of water and energy.
Short name: Russell Hobbs 14924